Hot on the heels of the news that Kobo was continuing a relationship with indie US booksellers comes the news that Kobo has a couple new partners in Mexico.
Kobo announced on Tuesday that it has signed the media retailer chain Librerias Gandhi and the publisher/retailer Libreria Porrúa as retail partners in Mexico. The booksellers will carry Kobo hardware in-store, and Kobo will power an ebookstore on the retailers’ respective websites.
Update: There are reports that the two retailers will share a store called Orbile. I’m looking into it.
Kobo has similar arrangements with retailers in the UK, Spain, Brazil, Italy, and France, as well as Japan, where the Kobo store is co-branded with Rakuten, Kobo’s parent company.
Between its two new partners, Kobo will have nearly 100 retail locations in Mexico.
In the case of Gandhi, Kobo will be replacing or perhaps supplementing the retailer’s existing ebook effort. Gandhi is currently listing a couple rebranded Chinese-made ereaders under the Enos brand, including a familiar Boyue model. Gandhi still has an ebookstore of its own, one which likely will be shut down in favor of Kobo.
Libreria Porrúa is also showing signs on its website that it sold ebooks, although I am unable to determine whether that older store was active at any point (the Wayback Machine was not helpful on this point).
This was a smart move for Kobo. They converted a couple local competitors into partners. This both shrank the field while also giving Kobo a step up against the major platforms.
Amazon, Google, and Apple all sell ebooks in Mexico, and so does South America based Baja Libros.
image by Juan_Manue